Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Tale of Two Grids

Like many of you, I'm a 'former' 'resident' of Second Life aka The Linden Grid.

I got very disappointed with SL back in about 2006, and left completely, lo these many years ago, for OSgrid. The rest, as they say is history.

When I first came to OSgrid, not much of anything worked; at all. The potential was there though, like a glowing gem in the distant landscape, too far away to even be described as elusive.

Time goes by though, and a good project doesn't die; it mellows, and matures. People come and go, and code is committed and abandoned. Sometimes it's because the developer left, and sometimes it's because someone made some sort of overhaul and vastly improves the feature.

Such is the case with Bullet Physics (Thanks RAdams ;)

Thanks to Robert and Bullet Physics, our physics simulations are now pretty much on par with those of SL, and perhaps just as importantly, nearly 100% compatible in the scripting API. This is important for vehicles, which you may be aware, are something of a passion with me.

So, I'm always on the lookout for cool riding toys.

A few days ago when OSgrid came up after "The Crash of '14", I brought up some regions and began testing. One thing I wanted to do was get a solid hypergrid configuration in place, as this is getting to seriously be 'a thing' (all the cool kids are doing it yo) and so having finally gotten it tweaked up, a bug surfaced that appeared related to imported assets, so off I went to Craft Grid in Italy.

I don't think I ever managed to reproduce the issue (for purely statistical reasons, but that's a ball of yarn I dont want to unwind just now), but I did find this really killer boat, not unlike a Flying Fizz of some sort, so I grabbed it and brought it home with me.

I broke it out, put it on the water, and right clicked it. "Sail!" it proclaimed proudly in the pie menu, so I sailed/sat and waited for the usual messages from the script. Nothing. Touched the up arrow. Off the boat goes backwards and to the left, in that series of jerky motions that is the signature of the non-physical vehicle. A quick check and sure enough, it's got the most basic of non-phys scripts in it, and a buggy one at that.

Now as a builder/scripter who is anything but unfamiliar with these constructs I can tell you that the first thing that crossed my mind was that the days of making such things 'for looks' passed a long time ago. Nobody makes such a detailed vehicle build without providing it with similarly good scripts; after all, they're Out There.

The boat had a few potentially identifying markings on the hull; "BWind BBK' on the hull, and similar on the sail. I googled this, and lo and behold, the boat was made by an old acquaintance I'd made on OSgrid some years ago, Becca Moullinez. The same of SL fame, who produces one of the top two sets of sailing and sail racing technologies on that grid. So, researching further, it turns out the boat is built on version 1.37 of her sailing engine; the last time I had seen her on OSgrid, she had given me her v 1.36 (it was brand new at the time). Back then, as you might imagine, there was a snowflake's chance in hell of them working; now, I sail a Tako on OSgrid at whim, so I suspect these would work right out of the box.

So, that SL account I hadn't logged in with in over 8 years? Password recovered, and off to the Linden Grid to find Becca.

Except she wasn't there, at least maybe not. I get ahead of my own tale.

I found TWYC, joined the group, got a fresh, working copy of the BWind BBK, also a Flying Fizz 3.0 (VERY NICE Mothgirl Dibou!), joined the TWYC group and went sailing. While out in the voids somewhere, I tried friending Becca, but I never heard from her.

After spending quite a lot of the day sailing, I decided I needed to be more proactive, and asked the TWYC group about Becca. The general consensus was, she "burned out a couple years back and hasn't been on much in a long time". I told them why I was looking for her, what my business was. The lack of comprehension about any grid not SL and the incomprehension of the working parameters of the GNU/GPL under which Becca claimed to be publishing her scripts was telling (on her google pages for the boat scripts she seems to release the scripts under the GNU/GPL, then tries to add provisios (SL only, no commercial use) that are not compatible with the GPL; this is why I felt compelled to seek her out and get permission directly).

So ultimately, a person PMs me, I forget the name, who clearly spoke with the authority of ownership; though it wasn't Becca. Likely an alt, and wanted to negotiate terms of use. Ultimately, she said she would drop a notecard on Becca.

I decided the circumstances were such I should probably feel free to use the scripts; so off I went back to my grid to script out the boat. And that's where this sordid tale leaves off:

Becca's Sail Engine has >5000 lines of LSL code; when editing script on my grid, the editor chokes at just over 1600 lines of that same code, or right at 65535 characters.

I'm not given up on it; there will just have to be substantial adjustments made.

Meanwhile we have the Tako...

Fair winds and following seas.

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